California ended its voluntary statewide target, triggering concerns from experts that many water supplies remain depleted. In Santa Clara County, Valley Water is to reveal its local water outlook in mid-April.
State officials say the urgency to store more water has vanished as storms swell reservoirs. The reversal is a victory for environmentalists, but they say the damage to salmon and native fish is already done.
Angering environmentalists, the water board decided that cities and farmers would get more Delta water while restricting flows for endangered salmon and other fish. The move came after Gov. Gavin Newsom suspended key environmental laws.
Future droughts will become increasingly frequent and severe, according to climate predictions. Officials are so concerned about the current shortage that many are now looking for new sources of water, including the use of treated sewage discharge for—gulp—drinking water.